Main title
Subheading
Age International and Age UK Conference:
Human Rights Convention for Older People
Working Towards a ...
About BIHR
The British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) is a national
independent human rights charity that is committed t...
Human rights are…
A vital safety net
Basic standards below which
the state must not go
And in some cases must also
protect...
Human rights are…
Based on shared values:
RESPECT DIGNITY
FAIRNESS
EQUALITYPARTICIPATION
AUTONOMY
FREEDOM UNIVERSAL
FOR ALL
“are basic rights to humane dignified treatment and
things I should have access to simply because I am a
human being” Serv...
Human rights legal framework
The three levels of human rights laws:
UK
Europe
United
Nations
Why international human rights
laws matter
Regulating (and transforming) the
relationship between the the state
and indivi...
Developing conventions
• Drafting of international law changing
• Seeing increasing engagement of people whose
rights are ...
Practical value for individuals &
groups
• In the UK international conventions are not usually part
of our law, which can ...
Experience from other conventions
(sign-up)
• Mobilising and campaigning for UK to sign-up and be
bound by international h...
Experience from other conventions
(reporting processes)
• Supporting & empowering people to submit their
evidence / views ...
Experience from other conventions
(more broadly)
• Holding Governments to account for implementation of
the Convention
Exa...
International human rights: about
local change
• In the UK our system requires “incorporation”
An important exception Huma...
Twin tracks: international and
the domestic
Ensuring calls for greater protections of older people’s
human rights go hand ...
Keep in touch!
www.bihr.org.uk
Join BIHR’s Human Rights on Tour: 17 free-to-
attend human rights community events (Sept-Oc...
Human rights: small places
close to home
‘Where, after all, do human rights begin? In
small places, close to home; in the ...
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Sanchita Hosali, Deputy Director, British Institute of Human Rights

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Presentation presented at the "Working towards a human rights convention for older people" conference by Age UK and Age International.

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Sanchita Hosali, Deputy Director, British Institute of Human Rights

  1. 1. Main title Subheading Age International and Age UK Conference: Human Rights Convention for Older People Working Towards a Human Rights Convention for Older People Human Rights in Practice Sanchita Hosali, British Institute of Human Rights 31 July @BIHRhumanrights
  2. 2. About BIHR The British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) is a national independent human rights charity that is committed to bringing rights to life in the UK We support civil society organisations and the public sector to know about human rights, put them into practice in everyday life beyond the courtrooms, translating the law into a force for positive change. We marshal this evidence of human rights in action in the UK to inform national law and policy change www.bihr.org.uk @BIHRhumanrights
  3. 3. Human rights are… A vital safety net Basic standards below which the state must not go And in some cases must also protect and fulfil
  4. 4. Human rights are… Based on shared values: RESPECT DIGNITY FAIRNESS EQUALITYPARTICIPATION AUTONOMY FREEDOM UNIVERSAL FOR ALL
  5. 5. “are basic rights to humane dignified treatment and things I should have access to simply because I am a human being” Service user “are a set of recognisable principles on which [public authorities] can base their everyday work” Public authority legal advisor “provide a legal framework for service providers to abide by and empower service users to demand that they are treated with dignity” Parliament Joint Committee on Human Rights Human rights are more than values… © British Institute of Human Rights 2013
  6. 6. Human rights legal framework The three levels of human rights laws: UK Europe United Nations
  7. 7. Why international human rights laws matter Regulating (and transforming) the relationship between the the state and individuals
  8. 8. Developing conventions • Drafting of international law changing • Seeing increasing engagement of people whose rights are at issue • Resulting in Conventions which better reflect lived experience – e.g. Disabled Peoples Convention
  9. 9. Practical value for individuals & groups • In the UK international conventions are not usually part of our law, which can make enforcing rights and remedies here at home complex (Some important exceptions – more later!) • BUT does not mean they are toothless! Can be very useful… processes for holding Government to account for the human rights promises its makes
  10. 10. Experience from other conventions (sign-up) • Mobilising and campaigning for UK to sign-up and be bound by international human rights laws Example: Council of Europe Convention preventing and combatting violence against women • Campaign from UK women’s sector to sign-up • Now needs ratification!
  11. 11. Experience from other conventions (reporting processes) • Supporting & empowering people to submit their evidence / views to monitoring Committees • Taking part in 'pre-sessional' working groups where Committees hear from independent groups • Submit reports and information to Committees • Work together in coalitions to submit coordinated “Shadow Reports” Example: Women’s groups in the UK coordinating reporting to CEDAW and children’s sector for the CRC
  12. 12. Experience from other conventions (more broadly) • Holding Governments to account for implementation of the Convention Example: Joint Committee on Human Rights Inquiry into Independent Living as outlined in Disabled People’s Convention • Seeking implementation of Concluding Observations from the committee Example: Right to housing in Northern Ireland
  13. 13. International human rights: about local change • In the UK our system requires “incorporation” An important exception Human Rights Act • Increasingly, international human rights are forming part of the legal protections in the UK via the Human Rights Act Example: Combining the HRA and the CRC to prevent removal of a child’s mother abroad Example: Hints from courts can use CRPD in understanding issues such as discrimination under the HRA
  14. 14. Twin tracks: international and the domestic Ensuring calls for greater protections of older people’s human rights go hand in hand with awareness and application of domestic human rights law Example: Supporting family life A husband and wife had lived together for over 65 years. He was unable to walk unaided and relied on his wife to help him moved around. She was blind and used him as her eyes. They were separated after he fell ill and was moved into a care home. She was told she couldn’t go with him. A public campaign argued that the local authority had breached their respect for private and family life. The authority reversed its decision. © BIHR 2012
  15. 15. Keep in touch! www.bihr.org.uk Join BIHR’s Human Rights on Tour: 17 free-to- attend human rights community events (Sept-Oct) Join celebrations marking 60 yrs of human rights protection following WW2 and Holocaust Check out our resources (some very useful for older people, e.g. Guide for Older People, Cares Guide) www.bihr.org.uk Join our mailing list www.bihr.org.uk/ebulletin-signup Follow us on Twitter
  16. 16. Human rights: small places close to home ‘Where, after all, do human rights begin? In small places, close to home; in the everyday world of human beings…where every man, woman, and child seeks to have equal justice and opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.’ Eleanor Roosevelt

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